I was surprised and astonished at the decline of the level of Kuwait University in international rankings, after it drifted from 1,001 to 1,200 in the QS classification for the year 2022, although it was at the level of 801 to 1000 only one year ago.
The drop in the Kuwait University level is accompanied by a noticeable rise in the levels of private universities, especially the American University of the Middle East AUM, which ranked first locally, and the 33 Arab universities in the QS classification which received advanced scientific places and awards despite its relatively short academic history.
The decline in the Kuwait University classification is felt in all state facilities, almost without exception, and there is no doubt that the responsibility lies with the government which accepted the handing over of education to backward and politicized religious forces from kindergarten to university level in addition to its insistence to treat education like a farm and livestock pen when a minister comes and distributes these pens and farms without any plan or looking at food security.
This is also the case in education where a minister comes and decides to use the World Bank to develop education or benefit from the experiences of Finland or Singapore or impose the teaching of living global languages in the early stages of education, then a minister comes, often affiliated to the forces of backwardness, and cancels all agreements to seek the assistance of experts, and another worse comes and expels international consultants and a third caves in to the pressures of backward forces and cancels the teaching of international languages in the early stages, and all of this would not have happened if there was a binding education plan and no one allowed to interfere in this plan, even a minister.
It is also absurd to give private university owners government land on a contract which expires in 20 years, as if building a university and waiting for its outputs is no different from granting government land to build a central market or a public bathroom?
To confirm the deterioration of the Kuwait University, graphs show the extent of low productivity of the university teacher, especially in scientific subjects such as medicine and architecture and this is definitely because of the bad outcomes of high school.
The belief that there is an opportunity for the Minister of Higher Education to improve the university’s classification is unrealistic especially after the meager formation of the Kuwait University Board of Trustees with respect to its members. The problem is not only with them or the teaching staff, the spread of immoral practices such as cheating and the scarcity of research and studies but rather in the educational system as a whole.
Therefore, raising the efficiency of the Kuwait University and raising its classification cannot be achieved without raising the level of the educational stages that preceded it. We urgently need an educational revolution through a Supreme Council for Education, whose task is to develop a binding education plan that includes all levels and can be developed for the better by the council itself which is made up entirely of members who meet certain conditions, and who have no ties to any of the declared and secret religious parties.
The Council may seek the assistance of all international expertise, conclude agreements with various parties, cancel some or all of the current curricula and replace them with new modern curricula and that its work continues for a relatively long period, and the Minister of Education and deputy ministers have no right to interfere in the affairs of the Supreme Council or to be members of it but rather to implement its decisions.
This suggestion may not be practical for some, but keeping the situation as it is shall be a recipe for the continued disintegration and erosion of the Kuwaiti citizen’s component.
By Ahmad alsarraf